COVID-19 Diaries: Made it to New Jersey!

After all the hubbub with the bus I usually take to my mom’s, I didn’t even take it. Turns out they have a very limited schedule right now: just two buses a day on weekdays only. I can only imagine these buses are completely packed, or else have such limited seating, you might not even be able to get on.

So I decided to take the train instead. I was pretty fucking nervous. I was thinking I’d take the subway, which I haven’t taken in three months. That meant dragging my suitcase up and down stairs and refilling my subway pass, two things that weren’t a big deal pre-pandemic but which now filled me with anxiety.

Then I thought, Fuck it, and took a Lyft. Not that that didn’t worry me too, but it turned out to be a great decision. The car came lickety-split and was very clean. The driver had put up a plexiglass divider between the front and back seats, like in a taxi, and I took care of my own luggage.

Driving through the city, I saw lots of people walking. Many stores were also still boarded up, which was weird and depressing.

I got to the station hella early, 6:45 for a 7:15 train. There were more people on the platform than I expected, but it was pretty easy to remain distant from people (although at least one idiot decided to walk back and forth, getting too close to everyone).

Another concern was having to pee. Usually when I travel to my mom’s, I immediately use the bathroom before boarding the bus or train. Now I didn’t want to use a public restroom, assuming it would even be open. But I made sure to drink only one cup of coffee and the bare minimum of water. Surprisingly I was good, and didn’t have to pee too bad the whole way.

The train was pretty empty, and the few people on board sat spread out. It was actually quite peaceful. Mask on, I listened to a podcast and watched the scenery go by. And the train arrived on time! That NEVER happens. Leave it to a pandemic.

I had told my mom the wrong arrival time so I had a little bit of a wait. I didn’t mind. The station in NJ was very quiet. There were like two other people waiting. Again, there was some idiot who was walking and had to walk right near me. What the fuck dude, the whole place is empty. Besides that I enjoyed soaking in the sky and trees and grass.

It was wonderful to see my mom for the first time in three months, but again a little frought with anxiety. We both wore masks and I sat in the back. Of course everything looked the same. I don’t know why I expected things to look different.

The moment I got home, I jumped in the shower. Then I tackled the beeping smoke detector. It’s been beeping for a few weeks since my mom isn’t able to reach it. I thought it was going to be a pain in the neck to change, but it turned out to be pretty easy. I simply put in one of the batteries I had ordered, and it actually stopped beeping!

The theme of the day: things I thought were going to be stressful turned out to be not that bad.

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